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Source: (consider it) Thread: The Book of Maccabees
Anglican_Brat
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I always found the story of the Maccabees disturbing, more disturbing than Joshua because I don't see Joshua as historically accurate. Would it be fair to read Maccabees as the

1) First story of religious persecution and attempted cultural genocide (in Antiochus and the Greeks' brutal suppression of Jewish faith and culture)

2) First story of violent resistance to this persecution, one of the few stories where the Jews took up arms against their foreign overlords.

How do Christians deal with this story?

[Editing to include link to text here - Mamacita, Host]

[ 20. November 2017, 15:59: Message edited by: Mamacita ]

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Golden Key
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FYI: Protestant Bibles generally don't have that book, so your responses are apt to have an RC tilt. Not sure about Anglican or Ortho Bibles.

[ 17. November 2017, 07:34: Message edited by: Golden Key ]

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
1) First story of religious persecution and attempted cultural genocide (in Antiochus and the Greeks' brutal suppression of Jewish faith and culture)

What about the attempt by Haman to destroy the Jews, recorded in the book of Esther?

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Jengie jon

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
1) First story of religious persecution and attempted cultural genocide (in Antiochus and the Greeks' brutal suppression of Jewish faith and culture)

What about the attempt by Haman to destroy the Jews, recorded in the book of Esther?
Or the treatment of the Jews in Egypt.

Jengie

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Alan Cresswell

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I'd assumed that working from a dismissal Joshua as not being historically accurate (a different question than asked here, of course) then the treatment of the Hebrews in Egypt would come under a similar "not historically accurate" heading.

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Anglican_Brat
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The Exodus story is about the enslavement of the Israelites but the Egyptians did not seek to turn the Israelites into Egyptians.

The Esther story is interesting because the Bible portrays the Persians as the "good" empire, in contrast to Egypt, Babylon and Rome. The King in the Book of Esther is seen as a bumbling buffoon and the edict to destroy the Jews is seen as something out of the ordinary.

I should have clarified the OP, the Maccabees is the first noted Biblical story where Jews were coerced to give up their culture and way of life, hence the term cultural genocide.

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
FYI: Protestant Bibles generally don't have that book, so your responses are apt to have an RC tilt. Not sure about Anglican or Ortho Bibles.

CofE practice would point you to Article VI - read for example of life and
instruction of manners; but yet doth not apply them to establish any doctrine

essentially reserved for those who've got an Apocrypha

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Jengie jon

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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
The Exodus story is about the enslavement of the Israelites but the Egyptians did not seek to turn the Israelites into Egyptians.

No they sought there eradication by the killing of all new born male children.

Jengie

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
FYI: Protestant Bibles generally don't have that book, so your responses are apt to have an RC tilt. Not sure about Anglican or Ortho Bibles.

An edition of the Bible containing the RC deuterocanonical books has recently been published by the French Bible Society exclusively for protestant and RC prison chaplaincy, so we have the "same Bible" in prisons.

(That this happened at all is in part down to discussions I've had here in Kerygmania about the Deuterocanonicals. Always remember talk here can have RL consequences!).

The other week I visited an inmate to whom I had given one such Bible a month or so beforehand. He'd read from the beginning and got as far as Maccabees - and told me he was especially enjoying the armed response on the part of the Jews [Eek!]

I wasn't sure how to answer that (and he's been released now), but I'll be following this thread with interest.

[ 18. November 2017, 07:36: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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HCH
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Some translations of Scripture include the between-the-testaments material and some do not. I usually read the New English Bible, which has all of this.
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leo
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Any bible without it isn't the complete bible.

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Enoch
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I agree with Leo.

The lectionary included much of 1 Maccabees recently.

1 Macc 14 conveys quite a good impression of what Jews of the time of Christ were expecting the Messiah to do.

1 Macc 14:12 explains what are the resonances in Jn 1:48.

Although in the CofE 1 Macc is not 'authoritative' in quite the same way as the Hebrew parts of the Old Testament, the book also contains quite a lot of useful material for theological reflection on political philosophy, e.g. 1Macc 14:44 ff.

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Gramps49
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Notably, during the reign of Antiochus IV, he tried to do away with the worship of YHWH by installing the statue of Zeus in the temple and allow pigs to be sacrificed at its feet. This enraged the Maccabeans to revolt.

During this time there was the rise of a Messianic hope. They started looking back at the prophecies of the Old Testament and looking forward to the re-establishment of the Davidic kingdom.

Some significant events during this period were:

Translation of the Jewish scriptures into Koine Greek, known as the Septuagint

Establishment of the synagogue

Greek and Aramaic become the common languages of the Jewish people

Hasmonean dynasty

Herodian dynasty

Province of Roman Judea created in 6 AD

Production of copies of the Hebrew scripture and other related writings, known as Dead Sea Scrolls when unearthed in mid 20th century

Production of the 14 books of the Biblical Apocrypha

Production of the Pseudepigrapha

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Anglican_Brat
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I'm interested in the Hellenistic party as opposed to the Maccabean party which opposed Hellenization.

Because Maccabees is written from the latter's point of view, I'm wondering what would have been the Hellenistic party's response, for example, did they believe that Zeus and Yahweh were the same god, and thus Antichous had reason to install a Greek statue in the Temple?

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
I'm interested in the Hellenistic party as opposed to the Maccabean party which opposed Hellenization.

Because Maccabees is written from the latter's point of view, I'm wondering what would have been the Hellenistic party's response, for example, did they believe that Zeus and Yahweh were the same god, and thus Antichous had reason to install a Greek statue in the Temple?

Maccabees was written by Hellenistic Jews.

My understanding of the matter (which is admittedly superficial) is that Hellenisation was uncontroversial until Seleucus IV started to cause strains, then his successor Antiochus Epiphanes went right over the top.

I suppose one should never discount potential outliers, but my impression was that there was no particular pro-Hellene party in Judaism at the time of the Maccabees, Antiochus having succeeded in polarising all or at least the great majority of Judaism against himself.

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